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what makes the macbook air so quiet?
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Author:  jameshanley39 [ Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:24 pm ]
Post subject:  what makes the macbook air so quiet?

It's unusual that a system with a fan is so quiet. But i've heard that one can't even hear the fan when one's ear is against it.

What is it that makes it so quiet, and do other laptops have that quality?

like, inaudible even with ear against it?

Author:  tim851 [ Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: what makes the macbook air so quiet?

jameshanley39 wrote:
It's unusual that a system with a fan is so quiet. But i've heard that one can't even hear the fan when one's ear is against it.

My wife has the 2010 model (Core 2 Duo) and I recently bought the 2012 model (Ivy Bridge). Both 11" models.

The 2010 model is very quiet. Idling, surfing the web, watching videos is all done with fan on minimum speed. It is barely audible in a very quiet room. But just faintly. Even my SPCR-spoiled ears are perfectly happy with this sound profile. The fan tends to ramp up if the battery is charged while doing work, usually to audible but fine levels.
If you really stress the CPU (for my wife this is typically a sign of an app going berzerk) and/or charge, the fan becomes obnoxious. Not the worst I've heard, surely, but really bad.
But 95% of the time, the MBA 2010 was the quietest laptop I had ever heard.

Until I got the 2012 model. This one is just insane. Here, 95% of the time I cannot hear the fan AT ALL. It is running, you can clearly hear it when you hold your ear against the case, but in a normal 1'/30cm distance to the laptop it's inaudible. And it doesn't. ramp. up. Multitasking while charging the battery does not make it ramp up or.
Only prolongued CPU load, such as unpacking multi-gig archives, will accomplish that. I've only had it happen 3 or 4 times in 2 months. Even then, the fan ramps up to "just noticable". It's about 1/10 the loudness of the 2010 (pure guesstimate of course).

The 2012 MBA is almost a perfect laptop for me. The keyboard is gorgeous. I've been keeping an IBM Model M around on my workstation PC. The feeling is obviously totally different, but I find the Mac keyboard to be better.
The touchpad is glorious, battery life for the 11" model is about 5 hours of light use, which is fantastic. Only the screen is mediocre. Here I wished they would have gone for an IPS or PVA, like Asus and Samsung did with their recent Ultrabook greats. Viewing angles are pretty bad with these TNs. It's bright though and there's almost no glare - the exact opposite of Apple's glass front Macbook Pros.

I was tempted with the Zenbook Prime (the Samsung Series 9 is unreasonably expensive and only available in 13") for its IPS glory. I'm curious if it has similar sound characteristics. It uses the same hardware and a copied chassis design.

Author:  jameshanley39 [ Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: what makes the macbook air so quiet?

That doesn't answer the question.

Many laptops have fans running low but they're very audible.

Perhaps somebody has opened it and had a look and seen what is distinctive about it relative to others?

Author:  Pappnaas [ Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: what makes the macbook air so quiet?

jameshanley39 wrote:
That doesn't answer the question.

Many laptops have fans running low but they're very audible.

Perhaps somebody has opened it and had a look and seen what is distinctive about it relative to others?


Why this one is more silent? Because it was constructed this way. And that naturally leads to a higher asking price. Apart from the Apple-Tax that is.

Author:  jameshanley39 [ Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: what makes the macbook air so quiet?

Pappnaas wrote:
Why this one is more silent? Because it was constructed this way...


Right Sherlock, but I'm obviously hoping somebody has an intelligent comment about how it is constructed, in the sense of the physical attributes that differ from almost all others, that lead to such silence.

Quote:
Apple-Tax that is.


No such model, so I see you're talking about "taxation" now, ok. Well yes Apple does tend to cost more.

If anybody has a macbook air and has opened it and can actually give an intelligent response to the question, then that would be great.

Author:  Vicotnik [ Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: what makes the macbook air so quiet?

Asymmetrical fans and I think also allowing stuff go get pretty hot before the fans ramp up. Thread discussing the fans here:
viewtopic.php?f=25&t=64533

Myself I wouldn't touch an Apple computer. Why with the Apple Tax and all.. ;)

Author:  nutball [ Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: what makes the macbook air so quiet?

http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook+ ... 7/2#s36162

Author:  Pappnaas [ Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what makes the macbook air so quiet?

jameshanley39 wrote:
Pappnaas wrote:
Why this one is more silent? Because it was constructed this way...


Right Sherlock, but I'm obviously hoping somebody has an intelligent comment about how it is constructed, in the sense of the physical attributes that differ from almost all others, that lead to such silence.

Quote:
Apple-Tax that is.


No such model, so I see you're talking about "taxation" now, ok. Well yes Apple does tend to cost more.

If anybody has a macbook air and has opened it and can actually give an intelligent response to the question, then that would be great.


In the time you wrote this derogative remarks you could have googled the other two answer and mine as well. I feel sorry for wasting my time in order to try and help you.

Author:  soujir0u [ Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what makes the macbook air so quiet?

Ultrabooks are getting pretty good too. I have a Samsung Series 9 and in light usage (e.g. web browsing) the fan is inaudible, unless I put my ear right up to it. About as good as the MacBook Air I use at work.

However, load the CPU a bit (~40% or so) and the fan starts to ramp up slightly. Gaming is the worst offender - the laptop heats up rapidly and the fan gets really, really loud. I haven't really pushed the MacBook Air so I'm not sure how loud it goes under load.

Author:  MikeC [ Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what makes the macbook air so quiet?

A Lenovo X1 Carbon is my new ultrabook, had it since Sept. Under 3 lbs, great 14" 1600x900 matte screen on 13" frame, 0.75" max thickness. It's basically inaudible in normal use, but the fan does ramp up sometimes -- sitting in bed with vents blocked by blankets will do it. I hardly put much load on it, so the fan very rarely ramps up due to load.

Author:  laststop [ Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: what makes the macbook air so quiet?

the base model of the macbook air is actually fairly priced. It's the upgrades apple rapes you on. If you can live with the base model it's competitively priced and a great machine. If you want more ram a better cpu more ssd you do get ripped off badly.

Author:  destiriser [ Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:56 am ]
Post subject:  a

a

Author:  CA_Steve [ Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what makes the macbook air so quiet?

Actually it was 17W for the 2012 MBA. You are necroposting.

Author:  Derek Semeraro [ Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: what makes the macbook air so quiet?

Macbook Air's entire body is made of aluminum. The laptop chassis itself is one giant heatsink that transfers heat from inside the chassis to the air outside of the chassis.

This helps reduce dependence on a noisy fan.

Author:  CA_Steve [ Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: what makes the macbook air so quiet?

...another necropost...

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